Wednesday 9 March 2022

Robust Split Series - Season 1: #2 Celophys/Radian

Labels: Robustfellow Productions

Formats: Tape/Digital

Release Date: 24 Dec 2021


1. Celophys - Cenozoic

2. Celophys - H.O.I.M

3. Celophys - The Main Issue Is You

4. Radian - She Gone

5. Radian - Nothing Gets Through

6. Radian - Beast

7. Radian - Herts Of Metropolis

8. Radian - Not Dying

9. Radian - She Blind

Tonight's post comes from an uncertain place. When I wrote about the first Robust Split Series release  review (about the Kasu Weri/Taser split) back on February 1st, I couldn't foresee what was going to happen in Ukraine. We were hoping and indeed starting to come out of a pandemic, beginning to feel more positive again but unfortunately somebody had other ideas. This review focuses on the second split in the series that was released by Kyiv's Robustfellow Productions in late December 2021, where bands from the Ukraine are joined by bands from all over the world. This tape features stoner/doom duo Celophys (from Cherkasy, Cherkasy-Oblast) and US sludge/doom quartet Radian (from Ohio).

After my initial hesitancy about this review last night, I’ve decided to go for it. This split consists of nine tracks with the first three coming from Celophys. Their opener ‘Cenozoic’ is twelve-and-a-half minutes of bass guitar/drum-laden doom with uber deep vocals. It’s mix of instrumental groove and depressive extremity is hypnotising, especially due to the repetitive nature of the song. Being repetitive isn’t a bad thing at all though!

The duo’s songs get shorter from here on in, though not by much in the case of ‘H.O.I.M’. The stoner/psych influences that graced the end of their opener are back in the song’s intro, leading into another lumbering and cavernous hymn. I’m not sure that calling it a hymn is correct, but who cares. Celophys certainly make me remember why I fell in love with doom in the first place. Their final song ‘The Main Issue Is You’ is also their most atmospheric, with more use of melodic and metallic elements (albeit subtle ones). There’s still a whole lot of dread in it though and with that, Celophys rounds out their side of this split in such a moreish and satisfying way. I need more of this band in my life for sure.

The other side of the split belongs to Radian, who approach doom/sludge from a different perspective. Still very groovy and slow, ’She Gone’ definitely contains that familiar mid-west twang and attitude. Radian don’t ponder over their songs as much, as you’ll find out. There’s definitely some clear-ish influences within their sound, especially if you’re a fan of the NOLA bands. ‘Nothing Gets Through’ features a great off-kilter rhythm that forms it’s backbone, while the quartet steamrolls on.

There’s much more alternative metal going on during ‘Beast’. It’s not like a nu-metal thing but Radian definitely knows how to add hooks to their sludge. They don’t hang about either, preferring to go straight from one song to the next and before you know it, ‘Beast’ has ended and you’re being greeted by the band’s most riff-laden song yet, ‘Herts Of Metropolis’. It features a haunting sample buried within the mix, which at one point made me think my neighbours were in distress before I realised it was part of the music!

Penultimate song ‘Not Dying’ sees Radian going back in a more straightforward direction, presenting themselves once again as a really solid heavy band that is more mature than expected given that this is only their second recording. Again, as with Celophys before, I’m floored. Split closer ‘She Blind’ takes you on one last trip down Radian’s dark rabbit hole and in doing so, will make you reconsider coming to the surface. It’s a really great way to end what’s been an engrossing union of like-minded individuals from different corners of the globe.

I think that’s what makes this split series what it is. On the one hand you’ve got the raw, extreme edge of Celophys and on the other, there’s the slightly more approachable urgency of Radian. There’s something here for any metal fan and that’s the point. Music brings people together, whether it be in the same town or across the world. It’s needed now more than ever and while this review won’t help the plights of both Celophys or Robustfellow directly at this time, hopefully it’ll help to show that there are good people doing good things, whatever the situation.

Contributions to help provide aid and relief to the people of Ukraine can be made via UN Crisis Relief, who have set up a Humanitarian Fund here -

You can stream this split along with all of the other splits that form part of this series below, where you can also buy it digitally and on tape:-

Celophys -

Radian -

Robustfellow Prods -

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